Friday, January 23, 2009

"You've Got My Number (Why Don't You Use It)"*

or Straight Outta MIDEM: Ten Years On, The Music Industry Goes All Napster?

It used to make me cry but now this shit just makes me laugh. Every year music company big wigs from around the world get together to literally save their world. With worldwide music sales plummeting and iTunes sales flat, The NY Times reports from Cannes that "The Industry" pins its hopes on unlimited "free" access to millions of songs to save their sinking ship.

OK, so nothing's "free" here. The cost is added on to yer cell phone or broadband bill. Sounds simple enough. I'm left with any number of unanswered questions:

  1. How much is this "free" service?
  2. Will consumers embrace any cell/broadband bill increase, for what is in essence a luxury, during the greatest worldwide economic catastrosphe ever?
  3. Which record companies are participants?
  4. How are the proceeds split amongst participants i.e. a flat rate split for each or split according to percentage of total tunes downloaded or something else?
  5. What is the projected average cost per song to the consumer?
  6. What is the projected revenue per song for the record company?
  7. What is the projected total yearly net profit from this service?
  8. How much revenue does each record company project receiving?
  9. Does this make it easier for us to get more, and more rare, songs for less?
  10. Will this kill iTunes for which we still pay a buck a cut?
Feargal Sharkey's beaucoup punk rock bona fides aside, I cannot grasp how this gambit will save the day. The music industry has proven time and time again that its stupidity is surpassed only by its greed.

Blah! After a major Blogger crash, it's taken me most of this week to get this far so...
Next up: How we came to be hear here.

*1979 single by genius No. Irish pop-punkers The Undertones featuring a young Feargal Shockey on vox. Highly recommended. Much loved.

I feel an Uncle Anacher's Punk Rock Tales coming on.